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Survey shows investors eyeing real estate for 2014

After the housing market bubble burst in 2007 and 2008, the real estate market took a long time to recover, both in Arizona and the rest of the country, but it's heating up again. In fact, according to one recent survey of investors, real estate is the top area for investment this year.

The banking firm Morgan Stanley conducted the survey by asking investors who had more than $1 million each about their investment priorities for the year. Among those surveyed, direct ownership of residential and commercial real estate was the top pick among alternative assets. About 30 percent of those surveyed said they planned to buy real estate this year.

Analysts said the answers in the survey may reflect a fear that after a year of gains in the stock markets, many investors expect a slower year for Wall Street, but a busy year for real estate. It's not just American investors who are interested, either. There are many reports in recent months of foreign companies entering the American commercial real estate market in a big way.

Whatever the reasons, the survey suggests that residential and commercial development will pick up the pace this year. More and more developers will need help with issues of zoning, land acquisition and other real estate transactions.

All these transactions can raise difficult legal issues, some of which don't make themselves clear until years after the ink is dry. It's important for Arizona developers to seek out help from experienced real estate attorneys who know how to handle these transactions, as well as whatever disputes may arise.

Source: Forbes, "Millionaires See Real Estate as Top Investment for 2014," Margaret Collins and David M. Levitt, Feb. 6, 2014

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